Solar panels produce electricity by harvesting sunlight; over time they can become fouled with dust, dirt, bird droppings and pollen that reduce their efficiency, so regular cleaning helps optimize their energy production.
Cleaning frequency depends on many factors, including your location, climate and level of dirt in the area. As a general guideline, cleaning should occur once or twice annually; however, in areas prone to dust or pollution or where energy production drops significantly more frequent maintenance may be necessary.
Although cleaning solar panels yourself is possible, it’s wise to follow manufacturer’s guidelines and take necessary safety precautions. Before starting to attempt it yourself, ensure you feel safe working at heights using equipment like a soft brush/sponge, gentle soap solution and rinsing hose – anything abrasive materials or harsh chemicals which might harm the panels should be avoided as these could be damaging.
Yes, tap water should generally be sufficient for cleaning solar panels; however, in hard or high mineral content environments it could leave behind residue on the panels which requires additional steps such as deionized or distilled water for optimal results and to achieve an accurate result without leaving spots behind.
Cleaning solar panels in the early morning or late evening when they are cool is ideal, since spraying cold water on hot panels could result in thermal stress that damages them further. Furthermore, cleaning them on cloudy days or times when there is less sun can prevent rapid drying and streaking issues from developing quickly.
For safety, it is always advisable to switch off your system before undertaking any cleaning efforts. Please refer to your user manual or contact your installer in order to understand specific safety procedures that pertain to your system.
Adherence to manufacturer guidelines when cleaning solar panels won’t void their warranty; however, using harsh materials or chemicals that aren’t recommended could potentially void it – be sure to consult the warranty documentation or get in touch with the manufacturer for specific information before undertaking such activities.